EU Greenlights Accession Talks for Moldova and Ukraine in Historic Thursday Decision

Yet, EU Council fails on new aid to Ukraine due to Hungary's veto.


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The European Council approved on Thursday the start of accession negotiations to the European Union for the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Immediately after the official announcement, Maia Sandu and Volodymyr Zelenski hailed decision.

“Victory for Moldova. Today’s decision to open negotiations for the accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Union is a victory for all of us. The European Union said “yes” for our country, it said “yes” for our European future. It is a new page in our history. Two years ago, no one imagined that in 2023 the European Commission would propose opening accession negotiations with the Republic of Moldova. Today’s success is the merit of the entire society – of all those who choose democracy and prosperity, who work with perseverance and patience, who went out to vote, protested for freedom and never stopped believing that Moldova deserves more. We are Europeans and this is recognized by the entire EU”, wrote Maia Sandu on Facebook.

Victory for Ukraine. A victory for the whole of Europe. A victory that motivates, inspires and strengthens us,” Zelenski also wrote on X.

EU leaders agreed to open accession negotiations after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán withdrew from the meeting room. After several hours of difficult discussions regarding the opening of accession negotiations with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, which Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was blocking with his veto, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was the one who came up with the solution.

Scholz told Orban, in front of the other leaders, that if he really wasn’t willing to accept, he could leave the room so that EU leaders could make a unanimous decision on enlargement in his absence, two officials briefed on the matter said. look at the discussions.

However, the proposal did not come spontaneously, but had been agreed upon in previous discussions, one of the officials said. A third official said Orban was “temporarily absent from the room in a pre-agreed and constructive manner”.

In a video posted on social media, Viktor Orban is seen reiterating his position that Ukraine is not ready to start EU accession talks. “But 26 member states were adamant that this decision had to be taken, so Hungary decided that if 26 member states decided this, then they should go their way. Hungary does not want to participate in this bad decision and therefore stayed away from today’s decision,” Orban said.

Viktor Orban also warned that Hungary will later be able to stop Ukraine’s EU accession process if necessary, while Brussels made a “bad decision” when it decided to start accession talks with Kiev.

However, despite the green light for Ukraine’s and Moldova’s road to the EU accession, the EU leaders failed to convince Hungary to raise its veto against granting Ukraine a new aid worth EUR 50 billion.

Summary of the night: veto for additional funds in favor of Ukraine, as well as for the proposal to review the European budget,” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wrote on the social network X (formerly Twitter).
The other 26 EU countries, reunited with Hungary in the summit in Brussels, had to bow to the obstinacy of the Hungarian nationalist leader. We will return to the subject at the beginning of January, during a new summit”, declared at midnight the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
We are 26 countries that have given the green light. There is no agreement with Hungary at the moment, but I am confident that we will achieve it next year”, added Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, quoted by AFP.
The EU had planned to give Ukraine 50 billion euros in aid – 33 billion euros in loans and 17 billion euros in grants – over a four-year period starting next year.
This new aid is considered crucial by Kiev at a time when American aid of more than 60 billion dollars remains blocked in Congress due to the reluctance of elected Republicans.
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